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Information for Session Chairs

Session chairs should allocate time to individual paper presentations and paper discussions in an equal and fair manner. Sessions are to commence on time, and papers should be delivered in the sequence in which they appear in the conference program. Chairs have some latitude in allocating time but as a default, for a typical 3-paper session, each presenter should be given 18 minutes for the presentation, followed by 5 minutes for the formal discussant, with the remaining time for audience comments and questions. Sessions without formal discussants should aim for 20 minute presentations with the remaining time for audience comments and questions. For sessions with more papers, it is particularly important that the chair make clear to presenters and discussants what the time allocations are. The session chair will keep time and will signal to the presenters how much time is left at appropriate points. (See the signal paddles below.) If a speaker extends a presentation for more than 2 minutes past the mark, the chair is allowed to cut off a speaker and proceed to the discussant or next presentation.

Courtesy of William Robson of the C.D. Howe Institute, below are images of the two sides of two paddles (paper glued on signboard) that you may use if you wish.

The rooms will have facilities for computer-assisted presentations, using PowerPoint or PDF. Presenters are encouraged to use this technology to make their presentations. To make this run smoothly, they have been asked to:

  1. Send the file of their presentation to you at least one week before the conference, so that you have the option of loading all of the files for the session ahead of time onto your memory key;
  2. Present themselves in the conference room at least 10 minutes before the start time;
  3. Bring their presentation on a memory key, in addition to having sent it to their session chair.

A number of computer-literate students will patrol the conference areas to act as first line support. You should arrange to arrive at the conference room well in advance yourself in order to make sure that everything is ready for the conference to begin on time and run smoothly.

Please note that in order to gain access to the email addresses of authors and discussants, you can log into your CEA account at my.economics.ca. Go to “Conference Schedule” on the left hand column and you will find access to the authors and discussants in the session you are involved in. If you click on the Author/Discussants name you have access to their email address in order to communicate.


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